8(a): Submitting your Social Disadvantage Narrative Once an Application Has Been Started For Disadvantaged Contributor

This guide is for 8(a) program applicants who started their application in Certify before July 19, 2023. Except for entity-owned applicants, all applicants are now required to identify the basis of social disadvantage and submit a social disadvantage narrative as part of the application process. Each qualifying owner must submit their own narrative, and these instructions can be used by each disadvantaged contributor. To submit your narrative, follow the steps below.


  1. Go to your contributor dashboard and select ‘Initial Application.’


  1. Click on your name in the Disadvantaged Individual section to provide the SBA with information about your social disadvantage and provide a Social Disadvantage Narrative.


  1. Next, be sure to select “None of the above” for your presumed social disadvantage. SBA can no longer accept a presumed disadvantaged basis of social disadvantage and selection of “None of the above” allows you to provide additional information to SBA in support of your application.


  1. On the next screen, from the options provided for Other Basis of Disadvantage, select the option that best identifies the basis of your social disadvantage.


  1. Once you select the basis of your social disadvantage, additional dropdown boxes will allow you to be more specific. Use the comment field to provide additional detail and select Continue.

  2. Finally, you will be required to submit your Social Disadvantage Narrative.

You are provided with two options:

  • Option 1: Submit you’re your Social Disadvantage Narrative as a single document

  • Option 2: Complete the “Experiences that have affected your business” form

  1. OPTION 1: Click the link to Add documents and upload your narrative (PDF format only). For help writing your social disadvantage narrative please use the Guide for Writing a Social Disadvantage Narrative.

  1. OPTION 2: Complete the “Experiences that have affected your business” form. The form prompts you through the six (6) components of the Social Disadvantage Narrative, asking for:

  • What happened

  • How it affects opportunities to start or expand your business

  • What contributed to the discrimination

  • When it happen

  • Where it happened

  • Who contributed


Firm Users are required to write about two (2) experiences as part of the Social Disadvantage Narrative. Once the first experience is provided, Firm Users are instructed to submit the second experience as a single PDF file or use the form provided.